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A gas production facility at Ras Laffan, Qatar, April 4, 2009 (AP photo by Maneesh Bakshi).

Qatar’s Exit from OPEC Could Exacerbate a Rift Among Its Members

Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018

The tiny Persian Gulf monarchy of Qatar announced its intention to withdraw from OPEC earlier this month, after 57 years as a member of the cartel of major oil-producing nations. The move, which will go into effect on Jan. 1, is expected to have little impact on energy markets, as Qatar, which is rich in natural gas, exports a very small amount of oil. But it risks worsening Doha’s ongoing diplomatic row with some other Gulf Arab monarchies. In an email interview with WPR, Jim Krane, an energy studies research fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy in Houston, discusses the backdrop to Qatar’s exit from the cartel, its regional implications, and the future viability of OPEC.

World Politics Review: Why did Qatar decide to leave OPEC now, after nearly six decades as a member? ...

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